tv Public Affairs CSPAN February 27, 2013 5:00pm-8:00pm EST
active member of the united states coast guard. and so i hope that the gentleman will express some of those things, maybe about how he feels about these cuts that are coming to our military. so i'd like to introduce the gentleman from florida's third, mr. yoho. mr. yoho: thank you. i rise today on behalf of my constituents in florida's third district, to voice the concerns they have shared with me over the president's sequester that will go into effect on friday. make no mistake, cuts need to be made. however, i know and my constituents know the sequester is not the answer. we in the house have shown and will continue to show we're where responsible spending cuts can be made. in fact, the house has tried multiple times to address this issue and has passed legislation as recently as six weeks ago. however, the majority leader, mr. reid, would not address these issues.
with the federal government of this size and magnitude, washington bureaucracy can afford to bear the brunt of these cuts, not our military, not communities like lake city or mayo or newberry or middleberg, florida. i'm working with my friend from georgia, congressman doug collins, on the new freshmen regulatory reform working group, to help show exactly where some of these cuts are and help businesses do what they do best, they grow the economy and they create jobs, bringing in more revenues to our government. we need and we will show the president and the american people that we can cut wasteful spending without hurting kids, our seniors and that we can make responsible cuts that do not put our national security at risk. and not add to the heavy tax burden of hardworking americans that they're already carrying. it was a shame that the president and the senate have avoided working with the house in real budgeting process. i look forward to working with
all my colleagues on resupporting -- restoring faith to the american people and bringing order back to this process. thank you, mr. speaker, and i yield back the balance of my time. mr. westmoreland: i thank the gentleman for being here and giving us great comments. i want to yield to our policy chairman and our republican conference, somebody that comes from the great state of oklahoma, somebody that has great experience in managing people. i think he ran a youth camp, the largest youth camp in the united states, if not the world, and i'm afraid to tell you how many people i let mr. lankford do that. but i'd like to recognize the gentleman from oklahoma, our policy chair, mr. lankford. mr. lankford: thank you, mr. westmoreland. it's an honor to be able to stand in front of this house today. we talk about families all across america right now struggling with their own
finances. they're sitting at a dinner table this evening because they have run out of paychecks and they're struggling through just the basics of how they're going to do life. because they're in debt and they're struggling day-to-day. they will make decisions to be able to put their house in order and to be able to resolve where they're headed as a family because they don't want to be a family that's going to live heavily in debt. because once you're in debt as a family, everything's about everything there is a new battle about money. about spending. how will we ha d life. the hard part is that's where we are as a na rouse and the se the president, we continue to argue through things about money, and every week it seems like we're fighting a new fight about money. because guess what. we're $16.5 trillion in debt. we're five years in a row we've
overspent the budget by $1 trillion a year, and there's no end in sight. we've come to a day that we have to resolve, how do we get out of this hole? how do we fix this? let me do a quick history of how we actually got here. in 2011, the house and the senate and the white house all agreed if we're going to have a large debt plan to get us out, at that point the debt ceiling request of $2.4 trillion, we had to have with that extension of the debt ceiling also a plan of how to reduce spending by that same amount or more so we didn't just infatally continue to increase debt. so the plan was made to cut $is.2 trillion over 10 years and it will be a second traunch of $1.2 trillion again to reduce spending. we couldn't come to an agreement on that. so jack lew came to harry reid and said, here's our suggestion. do a sequestration. harry reid rejected it
initially. jack lex said, what if we do half of it in defense spending? so an automatic across-the-board cut if we can't find a way to reduce spending in other ways we'll do an across-the-board cut with half of it in defense and the other half of it from other parts of the budget. harry reid agreed with jack le w, the president's chief of staff, so then it came to the senate and went to the house where we begrudgingly agreed. we didn't want to see this. i don't think the white house wanted to see sequestration as well. but this plan that was put in place, the house, the senate and the white house all agreed to was to find some way to reduce spending by $1.2 trillion in long-term spending. the first option was the select committee, the supercommittee, as it was called. it obviously failed in its task. shortly after that, the house of representatives said that the select committee has failed in this task. we cannot have sequestration, and so in may of last year, the house of representatives passed a replacement plan for
sequestration so that we would not get to this point. as americans constantly talk about congress waiting until the last minute, almost 300 days ago the house of representatives passed a plan to avoid sequestration and to do cuts and waited for the senate to respond so that we did not have a moment like this. the senate never answered us back. so in december of last year, the house again passed a plan to say, here's how we can replace sequestration. and again the senate has never responded to that. you are at a point hours away from sequestration beginning at a point none of us wanted to be here facing the reality that if the senate never responds to us we are at a point that we will step into across-the-board cuts. when that occurs, half of those cuts being in defense and a very severe cut after $ 100
billion cut four years ago and $500 billion cut and then another $500 billion cut. the defense is having a disproportionate cut in defense. we have to be able to stabilize all our programs, do smarter reductions in spending without having this huge hit. we have got to learn to be able to plan ahead, both in the house and in the senate. why must this be done in the first place? that's the challenge. we have individuals that look at programs that are some of their favorite programs and say we will face an 8% reduction in this program this year and there will be a spending cut so they don't have infinity growth over the next -- infinite growth over the next 10 years. we are facing a debt crisis that is happening now. two weeks ago the congressional budget office released its report on the status of america and where we're headed on current law and what happens
now. it reported in detail we pay $224 billion a year just in interest. c.b.o. two weeks ago released a report and said on current path we will pay in interest $857 billion from now. so where we have said in the past for our children they are going to have a crushing debt, it is now this generation because debt continues to accelerate. $857 billion, ladies and gentlemen, is larger than what we paid for the entire war in afghanistan. we will pay that each year just in interest payments. just 10 years from now if we don't get a handle on this. that's larger than all defense for a single year. that's larger than medicare, social security. $857 billion in interest alone is by definition unsustainable for us as a nation.
we cannot afford to do that. we have to deal with our spending. so how do we get on top of that? the president's proposal is let's just raise taxes on a few people. well, guess what, the president got his tax increase in january. as of all the reports that are coming back in now, 2013 will bring in the largest amount of revenue in the history of the country to the treasury. we'll have no year in our history will bring in more revenue than 2013, and yet the president's proposal is we need to raise taxes again to cover that. one of the tax increases that he recommends is just raise taxes on energy companies. just raise taxes on them. his proposal rate, another $400 billion a year from energy companies. well, there are a couple problems with that. one is that's a great way to raise gas prices again. as this administration has done so many times and some of the regulatory schemes that happened to watch gas prices continue to trickle up. just one more shot to do that.
the second part is it's $4 billion. we have over $1 trillion in deficit spending. that does not solve the problem. we're overspending $1 trillion a year, and we're spending more than $1 trillion in what we ask just five years ago. it is obvious with the highest amount of revenue in the history of our country coming in, we're spending more than $1 trillion more than what we did five years ago. this is a spending-driven crisis. mr. westmoreland: if the gentleman will yield for one second? mr. langevin: yes, i -- mr. lankford yes, i will. mr. westmoreland: we borrow about $4 billion a day. this energy tax would just really keep us from borrowing for one day. mr. lankford: yes. and it will drive up the cost of gasoline yet again for all americans. this doesn't solve the problem. it continues to exacerbate the problem. our issue is we're facing a difficult moment. but this is not a moment that
is manufactured by some sequestration event. this is a moment that has been created by overspending year after year after year, and now the acceleration of debt and deficits and interest payments each year is climbing so quickly that if we don't get on top of it soon we will not be able to get on top of it in the days ahead. this is not just a manufactured short-term crisis. this is a serious economic crisis for the united states, and if it's a serious crisis for us, it is a serious crisis worldwide. we have the responsibility as the largest economy on the planet to be responsible with our finances and to get our economy back on track so the entire world's economy can begin to get back on track. with that i yield back. mr. westmoreland: i want to thank the gentleman for bringing up that point because i think a lot of people don't realize that we're talking about $85 billion here. as the gentleman stated, you know, we spend $10 billion a
day. so i mean, this is 8 1/2 days that we're saving. so i mean, you know, my son-in-law was a d.a., assistant d.a., and i remember a couple years ago he was furloughed for 13 days which is almost twice as much as we're talking about here. he didn't have to put his children in an orphanage or go hungry or anything like that. they managed their bills, and that's all we're saying is we heard all the skies falling. i think it's something we can deal with, pearblely if we have competent heads of these agencies. and if you look at, you know, just some of the other money that we're spending. $268 million in executive branch conferences, whether it's the department of defense, homeland security, health and
human services. $268 million just for the conferences. i think we can cut those conferences down for a year or maybe cut them down or maybe not be quite as expensive or elaborate as they are. you know, when i came to congress, i came from a building, a construction background. i considered myself somebody capable of looking at a set of plans and given an estimate of what it was going to cost and having a vision of what it was going to look like. and i remember one time i had a customer come in and wanted a roof designed a certain way. i tried to tell them that it wasn't going to work. they had seen it somewhere else. had gotten somebody to draw it. and the one thing i did learn in the building business is that somebody can draw something and doesn't necessarily mean you can build what they draw. and so i've tried to explain to
them, this isn't going to work. it's going to cause problems. the going to look bad. but they still wanted to do it. their house, i did it. next thing i know they come up complaining about it. and i said, look, this was your idea. you know, i did exactly what you said. and they didn't like it, but it's something they had to live with or pay to get it changed. same thing happened here with this administration. you know, this was their idea. this was something that they were willing to do. i think a lot of people said, no, this is a bad idea. we don't want to do this. but yet they were so desperate to come up with something to cut the spending in this country that they agreed to it. now all of a sudden the originator of the idea doesn't like it. he says, oh, no. but rather than sitting down and talking to the people that could make a difference and make a change, he decided he'd go out and travel the country to people who couldn't.
and it has turned out it's going to be a bad outcome, but it's the only outcome that could come from the plan that was drawn. now, let me say this, again, about the spending. when you think about the fact that we spend $10 billion a day , think about that. $10 billion a day, and we borrow about half of it. about 42% of it we borrow from somebody else. . keep this in mind. the federal reserve buys, in combination with different things, they buy about $85 billion worth of mortgage-backed securities every month. $85 billion every month. they print the money to do that.
so we've got bigger fish to fry and several people have said today, we've got to get serious about this. i'm accountable to 700,000 people just like every member of this body is, at home. but i'm also accountable to my children and my grandchildren. and their children and their grandchildren. and i want to one day, when say sit in my lap or come up to me and say, papa, couldn't you do something about this? i want to be able to tell them, i tried, baby. i tried to do it. we all tried to do it. but we just, you know, nobody wanted to cut. nobody wanted to save. we just kept putting it on your charge card. so while this $85 billion is going to be tough, it's going to be hard, it's going to hurt some families, it's going to cause some people to go to part-time
ploirment rather than regular employment, but you know what, it's $85 billion that's not going to go on to our children's credit cards. i think that's what we've got to remember. we keep kicking the can down the road, people, you know, my age and in my generation, we may not ever have to pay the tab for this. but my chern and for sure my grandchildren and my great grandchildren are going to end up paying this tab. so we're not really doing that much other than shifting it from our responsibility and our burdens to the next generation and the next generation's burdens. i see one of our colleagues, another one of our bright freshmen, as you can see, mr. speaker, if anybody out there has been watching, they may understand that we've got a
bright freshman class and this gentleman is from illinois. mr. rodney davis. mr. davis, the gentleman from illinois, i'm glad to yield you time. >> thank you, ver. thank you, mr. speaker. thank you to the gentleman from georgia. i rise today, mr. speaker, to remind us all what president kennedy told us, he said, let us not seek the republican or democratic answer but the right answer. let us not seek to fix the blame for the past but let us accept our response responseability for the future. mr. davis: that's where we stand today with this looming sequestration. it's time to get beyond the party politics, time to stop the blame -- blaming and finger pointing. the truth is, it took both parties, the house, the senate and the president, to approve sequestration. and it's going to take both parties, republicans and democrats, a house, a senate, and the president, to resolve
it. the decisions we will have to make won't be easy. and no one, no one will get everything they want. but that's why we were elected. that's why our constituents, that's why they entrusted us to serve in this body. so let us take this opportunity to do the job that we were sent to washington, d.c. to be in this house, the pri ledge of serving in this house, let's do our jobs. do what our constituents sent us to do. let's put aside the partisan politics, let's work together, compromise with principles, an govern. govern like statesmen. it is expected and i will say, mr. speaker, it is demanded of us. thank you and i'd like to yield back the balance of my time. the speaker pro tempore: i thank the gentleman for -- mr. westmoreland: i thank the gentleman for doing this. i'll close by saying this. this job is not easy. it's not exactly what everybody
might thinks if. but it's something we don't need to squander. it's an opportunity that everybody in this house has been given that probablyless than 12,000 people have ever had the opportunity to do since the country has been founded. we don't need to quander -- to squander this opportunity. we need to honor those that have come before us, that have fought and died, the men and women right now that are in afghanistan and other parts of the world that are putting their lives on the line and in danger every day, not for us to be running up the debt on them. we've got less than 1% of the people in this country that protect the rest of us. so, why are we trying to do -- we're trying to fix that. we're going to try to fix it in
the c.r. for the young voters out there, i want y'all to know that this is not something we we -- we're purposely doing to hurt you or your family. this is something we're doing for your children or trying to do for your children. all we're asking is that you might encourage others to join us in this fight, to try to save this country from going down the road of debt and bankruptcy that we're headed on. but instead, turn it around to the bright future that we all want to have for this country, for a better republic, and something that will bring us back to the forefront and be held in the same esteem we have always been held by the other countries in this world, not somebody that's continuing to dig the hole of debt for our future. with that, mr. speaker, i yield back the balance of my time. the speaker pro tempore: without objection.
the chair would ask members to address their remarks to the chair and under the speaker's announced policy of january 3, 2013, the gentleman from wisconsin, is recognized for 60 minutes as the designee of the minority leader. >> thank you, mr. speaker. i rise to ask us to put aside our differences on sequestration. i've listened to people on the other side of the aisle talk passionately about their concerns, on government spend, on debt, on government waste and yet almost not a single one of those issues is covered by what we have before us in the next 48
hours which is sequestration. mr. pocan: sequestration is a thoughtless approach that makes indiscriminate cuts down every single budget line. if you think there's waste with a $4 million tv station in the i.r.s. as one speaker said, sequestration won't stop that. if you think we have too much debt, sequestration won't stop that. if you think we have too much fraud, abuse, an waste, sequestration won't stop that. what sequestration will do is have a real impact on the middle class families, not just in wisconsin where i come from, but across the country and that's why so many people in the progressive caucus and democrats have such a strong concern about what this country is facing because of this house, this chamber's inability to act in the next 48 hours.
you will hear from a number of people from different parts of the country this afternoon who will talk about the real impact of sequestration and what it has on their state and their district and the very impact that i think the middle class is feeling that doesn't really relate to what we heard for the last 45 minutes but relates to the very -- very issues that people care about, education, health care, and so many other areas. it's funny, last week, i got a chance to be back home in my district. as i talked to the people of south central wisconsin, it's not at all what you hear talked about here in washington, d.c. it's almost as if it was a different country, not just the district of columbia but a completely different country when we talk about sequestration. what people care about is how to they make sure they've got a job. how do they make sure they've got enough money to pay for the food on their table, to support their children, to provide opportunities for their families. but instead, what we see is
quite different with the sequestration cuts that are going to happen. there's a real impact on the middle class and it's pending and it's looming because we can't get the people in this room to sit down and get our jobs done. i heard multiple stories over the last week and just in the last 45 minutes about how sequestration came about. i can tell you people in beloit and people in barnabeld and small communities across wisconsin don't care about the fingering of how it happened. they don't care in 1985 this idea started and it's been a bad idea. if it's -- it was such a bad idea it was agreed to last year because they thought absolutely no one would go for this idea and now people are arguing, don't worry, we'll fix it a month from now. in wisconsin we're a little different. when our check oil light comes on in wisconsin, we check our oil. and if we have to, we put oil in the engine.
here in washington, d.c., we just keep running it until the car stops. and the engine breaks down. and then we all decide we're going to somehow fix the engine, which is a much more costly possess. but i guess that wisconsin common sense doesn't happen in washington, d.c. and it's clearly not happening in this house as we deal with sequestration. i have a couple of colleagues here who are going to share some stories and i'll come back and share store iries from my area, from the cuts you'll see in wisconsin and nationwide. i'll share real stories from people who not just from my district but across the country are talking about the impact oner that lives and i'll share my experience. i spent six years on a budget writing committee in the wisconsin legislature and chaired that committee. we did things in a very different way and a bipartisan way, something that is a foreign concept to washington, d.c. at first, i would like to recognize one of my colleagues from the west coast, representative mark tacano is a
fellow freshman representing the riverside area of california a teacher by profession and a community college board member. he's had a lot of experience in reck -- and is recognized as one of our foremost experts on education. he knows the real-life impact this will have on california and his district. i yield some of my time to him. mr. tokano: there seems to be a lot of talk from my friends on both sides of the aisle about whose idea the sequester was instead of working to stop this from happening.
make no mistake, if the house republican leader shitch wanted to stop the sequester from taking effect, it could do so. it's the house republican leadership that's sitting back an letting the sequester go through. mr. takano: my friends on the other side of the aisle seem to forget how we arrived here. in 2011, it was the democrats who wanted a clean raise of the debt ceiling. which has been the process for decades under republican and democratic presidents. but the extreme we think of the republican caucus demanded cuts and chose to hold the american economy hostage. what we got was the budget control act of 2011. which speaker boehner said was 98% of what he wanted. and here we are a year and a half later, mr. speaker, at the 11th hour again, dealing with another manufactured crisis instead of talking about jobs and how to improve the economy.
but again, we must deal with the soap opera that is the house of representatives. every time the house of representatives wants to pass some meaningful legislation, we're forced to go through this pattern where our citizens are put through weeks of drama on pins and needles, wondering what will happen. but then what happens is the governing majority finally comes together to pass legislation with substance, legislation that is sensible. but who is this governing majority that passes meaningful legislation? it's made up of the entire democratic caucus and a handful of moderate, sensible republicans. when we faced the fiscal cliff, which nearly every credible economist said would be disastrous for our economy, it took a common sense governing majority of 172 democrats and 85 republicans to come together to save the economy from ruin.
on the vote to provide aid to victims of superstorm sandy after weeks and weeks of delay, with leaders of their own party in arms, finally the governing majority emerged with 192 democrats and only 49 republicans. i understood the need to help the victims of superstorm sandy. i am from california where earthquakes and other natural disasters are a reality, as are tornadoes in the midwest and hurricanes in florida. most americans understand that it is a basic function of the federal government to provide aid to victims of natural disasters. but still the republican caucus was divided and it took reasonable people to come together to help those in need. just last night, we got word again that the governing majority is needed in order to pass some real legislation as we take up the violence against
women act. the reality is, to pass anything with substance, speaker boehner needs the democrats. so, when the house takes up the senate version of the violence against women act what will the governing majority look like? go to twitter and tell me what you think the vote will look like with the hash tag, #boehnerneedsdemocrats. -- #boehnerneedsdems. i'm willing to bet the governing majority will do its job again with the sequester and the violence against women act. speaker boehner, when you're ready to get serious, we, the governing majority, are here to help. thank you and i yield back my time. mr. pocan: i recognize -- thank
you, mr. speaker. i would like to thank the gentleman from california for his remarks. you heard a little bit from the west coast. you heard a little bit from the heartland. now we can hear a little bit from the east coast, the state of pennsylvania, another colleague of mine that's up here, another member of our freshman class that we have, 49 and now actually soon to be 50 freshmen democrats in this house of the 113th congress, representative matt cartwright is a lawyer by trade, represents consumers, making sure they get their fair share in this country. mr. cartwright also is a member of the oversight and government reform committee where he is the ranking democrat on a committee to make sure we are making sure that economic development is a priority for the people of this country. it is my honor to yield some time to mr. cartwright from pennsylvania. mr. cartwright: thank you, mr. speaker, and thank you, mr. pocan.
i'm here to address the draconian and irresponsible and indiscriminant effects of this ridiculous sequestration that's slated to take effect on march 1. i use that word indiscriminant advisedly. it is indiscriminant. it is as if the government were a surgeon and seeking to take out a cancer, a lesion, making a patient sick instead of being given a scalpel to take out that lesion, the surgeon is forced to use a meat cleaver. that is an appropriate analogy for what this sequestration is doing because it is an indiscriminant set of cuts across the board to
discretionary spending across the united states. no business person would engage in such a budgetary process. no one with any sense would do this in the government and yet we're left with this. and instead of repealing it and replacing it promptly, what we see is that the speaker is instead engaging in finger-pointing, in the blame game to avoid moving forward and fixing the problem in the first place. it's irresponsible, and it has to be dealt with differently. i say that if congress cannot come up with a replacement to the sequester before the end of this week, we should eliminate the sequester entirely. one million working americans should not be forced to pay the price for what is nothing more and nothing less than
suborangeness and hard-headedness. we would prefer to replace the sequester with a balanced approach to deficit reduction. the progressive caucus already introduced a bill called the balancing act that reflects what the american people already voted for this past november. the progressive caucus' balancing act replaces the sequester with a balanced approach to new revenue and necessary pentagon cuts and it creates jobs all over the country. it equalizes the cuts we've already made with revenue by closing tax loopholes for america's wealthiest individuals and corporations. but we shouldn't just sacrifice our economic recovery because republicans are unwilling to
vote for one single penny and new revenue, new contributions from their billionaire friends and corporations. we have to look at what these cuts mean in the sequester. the sequester involves 70,000 children being kicked off of head start. no one in this chamber disagrees about the importance of head start. early childhood education is absolutely essential in creating the foundation for learning in children all over the world. and that's what head start is about. 70,000 american children being kicked off head start. that's what happens when you use a meat cleaver instead of a scalpel. we're talking about more than a million kids who will see their schools lose education funding. we're talking about emergency
responders who will lose their jobs, meaning slower response times and weaker disaster preparedness. we're talking about layoffs and furloughs for social security workers that is going to cause delays and hassles for millions and millions of social security recipients, people who depend month in and month out on their social security checks to put food on their table. in my district, the 17th congressional district of pennsylvania, we have one county. it's scookle county. we have 149,000 people who live there and how the of 149,000 people who live there, fully 38,000 of them have social security checks. if those checks are delayed, if those people get hassled getting those checks because of
this sequester, that is a crying shame. we're talking about cuts to air traffic controllers for those of us who have to fly around as part of our jobs. we're talking about cuts to airport security agents, all of this is going to mean longer rates, travel disruptions. the consequences of more massive budget cuts are real. this isn't a game we're talking about. in fact, economic growth in the united states is going to slow because of this sequester. hundreds of thousands of jobs will be lost, and more people will have to rely on government assistance to meet their basic needs than ever before. this is exactly the opposite of what you need to be doing in the united states and it's the opposite of what the american people asked for in the november election.
it's time that our colleagues across the aisle, the republicans, wake up to what's really about to happen to american families. time that we eliminate the sequester. i want to talk to you a little bit about specific examples of what we expect to happen in my home state, the keystone state of pennsylvania. if sequestration was to take effect, we'd be talking about job losses to the toby hannah arm depo which is something that for the last 60 years has provided electronic refurbishing to army equipment. we're talking about command and computer and communications control, to army equipment that's referbished right there in toby hannah, pennsylvania,
by as many as 5,400 patriotic work people, supporting our war fighters for the last 60 years with this kind of electronic equipment. we're talking about cuts to toby hannah army depo of $309 million over 10 years as a result of this reckless and irresponsible sequester. we're talking about teachers and schools. pennsylvania is going to lose $26.4 million in funding for primary and secondary education. putting around 360 teacher and teacher aides jobs at risk. about 29,000 fewer students will be served and approximately 90 fewer schools would receive funding if this nonsincecal sequester program goes through. head start -- head start and early head start services in pennsylvania alone would be
eliminated for approximately 2,300 children, reducing access to critical, critical early education. and then children with disabilities on top, education for children with disabilities, pennsylvania will lose about $21.4 million in funds for about 260 teachers, teachers aides and staff who help children with disabilities in school. and even worse, protections for clean air and clean water, pennsylvania would lose as much as $5.7 million in environmental funding to ensure clean air and air quality as well as prevent pollution from pesticides and hazardous waste. pennsylvania could lose another $1.5 million in fish and
wildlife protection. we're going to sacrifice our schools, our environment all in the name of stubbornness and wrong-headedness, mule-headedness on the part of the people who should be coming to the table, the republicans who refuse to engage in any sort of responsible revenue legislation whatsoever. finally, military readiness, in pennsylvania about 26,000 civilian department of defense employees would be furloughed, reducing gross pay in pennsylvania alone by around $150.1 billion in total. and this is no joke. we're talking about deadlines in washington. there are hard deadlines and there are soft deadlines, and maybe we've seen congress only move when there's a hard deadline, when there's an
actual cliff we're about to go over and this is irresponsible in itself. i think it is the case that many here in this chamber believe that march 1 is a quote-unquote soft deadline, because all that's happening are furlough notices are going out and people are not actually losing their jobs for another 30 days or so. for example, the toby hannah army depo furlough notices are slated to go out in the middle of march for furloughs that actually take place at the end of april. and there are those in this chamber who think that's a soft deadline that doesn't really matter. it's just a furlough notice anyway. well, i'm here to tell you, mr. speaker, that furlough notices go to real families, real families who have to plan for their budgets, real families who have to plan on how they're going to feed their children and clothe them and pay the mortgage and keep the car
running and keep gas in the car. and they have to think about how they're going to do all these things when they're holding a piece of paper that says you're losing your job in 30 days. it's called comfort for them, for those families to hear that while this may not happen, when they're holding it in black and white, a letter that tells them they're going to be out of work in 30 days. this is no way to run a government. this is no way to make a budget, and this is no way to be responsible with the finances of the united states of america. thank you, mr. speaker. and i yield back to mr. pocan. the speaker pro tempore: thank you. the gentleman from wisconsin. mr. pocan: well, thank you, mr. speaker. thank you, mr. cartwright, for continuing your fight for families in pennsylvania and across the country. you know, when i listen to mr. cartwright and i listen to mr. takano and i listen to speakers
throughout the day on the democratic side of the aisle, i can't help but feel that there's an overwhelming look -- when you look at sequester and the sequestration, you're really looking at what's happening right now in europe and it's called austerity. we know that right now by doing these massive cuts in europe, like we're now trying to pattern right here in the united states, we know what the net effect is. right now in england, they're facing a triple-dip recession. not just a double dip but a triple-dip recession. with you look at where they're at unemployment. it's rising. we look at the deficit that's not going to go away. all they're doing is taking away the very tools that stimulate our economy. when you take away the jobs that mr. cartwright and mr. takano talked about, that means real people don't have money to spend and build the economy. . when you take away the loan
guarantees, real small businesses don't have capital to grow and hire more workers. and when you have the very effects that we are seeing done right now in europe happen here, what effect do you think we're going to have? i can guarantee it won't be fixing that $4 million tv station at the i.r.s. that we heard about. instead it's going to have a real impact on every single family throughout the country that's not in the top 1%. so at this point, i want to share a few statistics from the heartland and then i've been joined by another colleague from florida. we are literally going across the country and showing what impact these have. but let me share statistics from my state. we know from a george mason university study, over two million people in this country could lose their jobs because of the sequester. that's 36,000 jobs in wisconsin a state that unfortunately, thanks to our governor, we have not bounced back like other states in our region.
it's those failed economic policies we have had in wisconsin by our governor that have already held back our economic growth and now we're going to jeopardize 36,000 more jobs in my home state. wisconsin is going to lose millions of dollars, $19 million for education, just for disadvantaged students and for special ed. that's going to affect tens of thousands of students in our state. head start funding, while we know the impacts that are going to happen nationwide that mr. cartwright talked about, there's hundreds of kids who won't have that funding in my state of wisconsin. the university of wisconsin madison which is one of the most important public universitys in this country, it is a world class institution for research, for stem cell research, for all sorts of biotech and high tech innovation, one of the best graduate freshmans from almost
every program in the entire country, and yet we know they are going to see about $36 million lost that will go into research and development and financial aid that will affect real people with real jobs in many my state. i have had -- in many state. i have had doctors come to us, medical schools come to us and say they're going to lose the ability, because of sequester, to have people in residence programs. i think it was 900 or 1,000 people won't have positions. one of the best ways we keep doctors in wisconsin in the rural parts of wisconsin where it's tough sometimes to keep those doctors, is by having residency programs. that will be cut because of the sequester. 900,000 fewer patients will be served as a result of $120 million of cuts to community health centers, that are vital in those rural communities in wisconsin. in my district, in my county alone, we have an agricultural
economy that's greater than 15 states in this country. that's one county in my district. yet we'll see those programs hurt and cut, as well as programs leek meals on wheels, four million meals may not happen because of those cuts. finally, one of the areas i think we hear lip service if people on the other side of the aisle, and you seal real -- see real action on this side of the aisle, what are we doing for small businesses, not the big businesses, not those who outsource jobs overseas, not those who domicile in o'countries so they don't have to to pay taxes but the small businesses like mine that i deal with on a daily basis, for 25 years i have had a small business. it's the people who pay their taxes, who hire the workers, who are the real economic engines for our community. well, thanks to the sequester, we could see up to $900 million less in loan guarantees to help stimulate the economy. so what sequester is, is nothing
more than an austerity policy that that's going to proside so many cuts and damages to the economy that we will see according to what we been told by the experts could cut our economic growth in half. in the next year. and we can't afford to have a double dip recession, much less a triple dip recession like we're seeing right now in europe. with that, i would like to yield to yet another great freshman colleague of mine, this is a woman from southern florida, like myself, we spent time in our legislatures, she is an expert in many areas, she was a legislative leader in the state of florida. i can think of no one better to tell us about the potential cuts in her state than ms. fran tell of south florida. i yield my time to ms. fran tell. >> thank you, congressman. thank you for inviting me to join you today. i don't want to go through all
the statistics, i guess i could, because sometimes we forget we're talking about real people. let me just keep it very, very simple. first of all, in the state of florida, the beautiful state of florida, i tell people i live in paradise. we're finally turning the corner with the economy. we, over the last several years, we lost millions of jobs, our construction industry went bust because of the -- because the whole country was hurt, the tourism got hurt. now we're starting to turn things around. the value of our homes are going up, the tourists are coming back, people are finding work. the worst thing that could happen, really, right now, the worst thing we could do here in congress to our economy back home is to remove so much money in such a quick time from our economy that it would put our
job market in a tailspin and outside analysts say that just in the state of florida other the next year, we could lose 80,000 jobs. we're not talking about 80,000 government jobs, we're talking about the removal of government spending, that horrible government spending, from our economy, it'll mean 80,000 floridians, mom and pops, not going to be able to pay their mortgage or send their kids to college and they could be a teacher, or they could be a bus driver, they could be a manager in a hotel, it's going to affect all walks of life. and you know, just like your state, i heard mr. takano talk
about the effects where he lives, we will lose money from education, our science program, our transportation infrastructure, but what i want to talk about is a couple of people today. real people. i talked earlier today about ruth. i don't know if you heard me talk about ruth but i want people, if you didn't hear me talk about ruth, i want you to know about ruth. because ruth is 91 years old. congratulations, ruth, for getting that far along in life. but let me tell you what happens when you getting to be 91. i know, i'm not 91 yet, but i have a lot of constituents in florida who have retired to the area where i live, you know what happens when you get to be 91? so many of the people who you love, so many of the people who you grew up with, your children,
your friends, your neighbors, they pass on. by the time you get to be 91 and you've moved away from your family and in florida it happens often, you're left alone. and so when ruth came home from a stay in the hospital, she was alone and she had no ability by herself to shop, to cook, she could barely get out of bed and she had nobody to help her. except she had us. she had us. the safety net of the united states of america. with the safety net of the yeats of america, she had delivered to her on a regular basis meals from a program called meals on wheels.
so she could eat every day. and it astonishes me that on friday, it's friday, right? on friday, we hit a phase of our history where -- that we're calling sequestration which means that literally hundreds of thousands of our seniors like ruth across this country face the prospect of not having a meal each day. i'm going to tell you one more story and then i'm going to yield back. and this is a story of a young woman named tangie. this is a good story. tangie, when she was a young mother, a young single mother,
when she was working really hard but not working -- not making a lot of money, a lot of people in this country work really hard but they don't make a lot of money. and she had four children and in order for her to go to work every day, to provide for those children, she needed to leave them in a safe, nurturing environment and she did so in a location in my town called the ywca and they had a head start program. and today, her children, one has become a teacher, one is in the military, and two are in high school. what would have happened to her children had the united states of america not been there for her?
so i think -- i want everybody to know that it's not just about numbers. there's lots of numbers. this is about flesh and blood and people who are going going to be hurt by our inaction, and so with that, congressman, i want to yield my time back to you and thank you for inviting me to participate today and let's keep fighting to stop sequestration and let's get our fiscal house in order in this country in a balanced way, not in a way to kick people out of jobs and take food from seniors and quality child care from children. mr. pocan: thank you, mr. speaker. can i inquire how much time is left? the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman from wisconsin has 25 minutes remaining.
mr. pocan: thank you, mr. speaker. ms. fran tell hit it exactly on the head. this is about real people. this is about the effects that sequestration will have on real people. the kind of people who when they hear sequestration think it's a medieval torture. the average person doesn't come up with a term that only washington could devise which is what we've done with this sequester. but let me tell a real story from my district. there's a woman in marshall, wisconsin, who sent me an email, i'd like to share that with the american people. here's what she said. it's being reported that the effect of the sequester on average americans will be minimal. in the case of our family, this is not true. my son is a civilian firefighter at offett air force base in omaha. he gave me a call to tell me all the firefighters will be getting a letteren friday saying that their shift crew size will go
from 19 to seven immediately. he has to work 106 hours, vs. 80 for the rest of us, to receive overtime. in addition, overtime will be eliminated, rulting in a 40% reduction in pay for my son's family. his wife is in graduate school and they had their first child in december, 2012. there's a real face to the reductions. please use your energy and wisconsin progressive common sense to put a stop to this across-the-board reduction. that's another real story of someone being affected. it's not about a $4 million tv station at the i.r.s. it's about the real people in this country with will see the impact in the next month and the next month and the next month and as much as the republicans tell us they'll try to fix it a month from now, again, i don't know why you wouldn't just fix it instead of letting these devastating cuts come in. i want to share another story
that came in from oregon, wisconsin. this is from a case manager who works with seniors on meals on wheels. let me read their story. they said, i work in boverton, oregon, as a case manager for seniors and people with disabilities. i work with seniors who live on $700 a month. that's all they have to pay for rent, utilities, food, and med case. if congress cuts funding for the programs that my department administers, the seniors i work with could end up in the hospital, sick, or just living on the streets. budget cuts also affect our jobs. i'm a single parent with a child who goes to school so if there are cuts, i might need assistance myself. . some legislators say we can't afford it but if we don't
provide services, these people could literally die if we take away their life support. and that's what our services represent to the seniors who i work with, life support. look, this isn't about pointing fingers and assessing blame on whose idea this was. let's figure out how to get it done. how to fix this idea. you know, i can tell you, when i served on our finance committee in the state legislature in wisconsin, i had the opportunity to serve on that for six years, i served on that committee, it's a sophomore-member committee, when there were 1 republicans and four democrats. i serve on that committee when there were eight democrats and eight republicans and i sat and chaired it when there were 1 democrats and four -- 12 democrats and four republicans. i've been on every configuration you can have. the way we did our budgeting was we would literally spend three days a week, eight hours a day, for three or four months, just agonizing over every detail of the budget because it was important. every single program we had,
every single dollar we spent meant something to someone. and we had to make sure that we were spending it in the most wise, efficient way possible. i've heard a lot about how federal government spends too much, how there's waste, fraud and abuse. but the sequester doesn't address that. the sequester addresses these across-the-board indiscriminate, irresponsible cuts that we would never do when we were actually laying out the budgets we did back in our state of wisconsin. so i feel as if these real cuts, these real effects that we're going to see could be stopped. but the only way we can do that is to actually have that impact right here in this legislature -- in this house of representatives. we need to get people to come back to the table, stop the finger pointing, stop the blaming, stop saying you'll fix something a month later, maybe. i tell you, last week when i was back in wisconsin, i have heard more than 10 or 20 times
people have no confidence in washington. how many times have we just kicked the can on the debt ceiling? how many times have we faced the deadline and the days before maybe started talking and here we are two days before these meat axe cuts will take effect and this house has done nothing. we need to take a much wiser approach to this. we need to make sure that we stop these cuts that are going to have real impacts to small business owners, to seniors, to parents, with children to go to school, to health care for so many hundreds of thousands of people across this country, to the people who are going to medical school, to the people going to our universities, to the researchers. to everything that we have heard of, just in the last 45 minutes. from california to pennsylvania to florida to wisconsin, you have heard the real impakets of
the sequester and now it's up to us -- impacts of the sequester and now it's up to us, the house of representatives, to act. and yet we haven't. we've had our opportunities and the progressive caucus and the democrats have put forth alternatives, real alternatives, that will provide both cuts in revenue, that will really deal with the amount of money that we have to face in the next two days to take care of and yet no one has come to the table. there's no other plan in this room right now offered to deal with the sequester that we're going to face in the next 48 hours. so, on behalf of the progressive caucus and our ability to talk today to the public, i hope you've heard the real impacts of the sequester, i hope you'll contact your representatives, no matter where they are across the country, email them, call them and tell them, go get the job done. you've got 48 hours to do that. i don't want cuts to the
schools that my kids go to. i don't want my grandparents or my parents or my may be the -- my parent or my neighbor to lose their ability to get that meal on wheel. i don't want my neighbor who is trying to jumpstart the economy to lose access to capital. you have to make that call. because you're our bosses. so please, in the next 24 hours, reach out to us and tell your member of congress, get to work. our job is to end the sequester and if we don't, you'll be watching and you expect more of us. mr. speaker, with that i would like to yield my time back that we have for the remaining hour. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman yields back.
under the speaker's announced policy of january 3, 2013, -- the clerk: the honorable, the speaker, house of representatives, sir, pursuant to the permission granted in clause 2-h of rule 2 of the rules of the u.s. house of representatives, the clerk received the message from the secretary of the senate on february 27, 2013, at 1:57 p.m. . appointments, joint committee on taxation, with best wished, i am, signed, sincerely, karen l. haas. the speaker pro tempore: under the speaker's announced policy of january 3, 2013, the chair recognizes the gentlewoman from california, ms. speier, for 30 minutes. ms. speier: thank you, mr. speaker. i'd like to compliment the gentleman from wisconsin and the freshmen members who participated in the last hour for a job well done in
underscoring what the sequester means to americans across the country. i'm going to shift gears now and i'm joined by my good colleague from virginia, congressman moran, and we're going to talk about gun violence. you know, those of us who have been victims of gun violence see horrific pictures in our minds over and over again. mine was over 30 years ago but i am still haunted by visuals of that day. my leg being blown up and my arm being blown up. and really thinking that he was going to die -- that i was going to die. and when you look death in the eye, there's a certain clarity that comes to you. a certain clarity about what's important. a certain fearlessness to deal with issues that maybe you wouldn't have dealed with under
other circumstances. so i am haunted by more recent events in newtown -- newton. i'm haunted by the story told by noah. little noah was shot 11 times. a little child shot 11 times. and she made a point of having an open casket at his funeral for one reason. because this is not just about numbers. this is about human beings, this is about visualizing what happens when someone is gunned down. she had an open casket and she inrighted -- invited the governor of connecticut to the funeral because she wanted the governor to see this little face and she said, it's not little angels going to heaven, this little boy had his mouth blown off.
and his jaw gone. and his hand gone. she wanted the governor to remember that little face when legislation came to his desk. you know, it's time for all of us here in this house to stop thinking about numbers and start thinking about people. yes, over 1,800 people have died since newtown and over 500 of them have been children. if we do nothing else but focus on the children in this country , that should call us to action . i'm going to talk about a child. a child from my district. an infant. a 3-month-old infant. this infant is named isaac jimenez. just a little tike.
his parents had gone to a baby shower. mistaken identity, a gang member, two young kids, 16 and 17 years of age, came and shot up their truck. killed this little baby. killed him. parents were shot. 4-year-old was spared. 16 and 17-year-old kids, when they were found, they had extra handguns, they're not legally allowed to have those handguns, but somehow they got them in their hands. we are not debating the second amendment when we talk about gun violence prevention. the second amendment is secure. it's even more secure since the heller decision when the heller court said, the second amendment guarantees every american the opportunity to have a gun for recreational
purposes and to protect themselves in their home. but having said that, it also provides government with the right to provide certain levels of regulation. so, what are those certain levels of regulation? well, why don't we start with something really simple, really straightforward? and that is universal background checks. don't we want to make sure that people who come in to gun dealers, to buy guns, legally have the right to buy the gun? that they're not felons, that they're not ex-felons, that they haven't been charged and convicted of drug traffic, that they aren't -- trafficking, that they aren't convicted of domestic violence or they haven't been adjudicated by a court as being mentally in competent? of course we do. and this number says it all. a poll this month said that 92%
of americans, 92% of us believe that we should have universal background checks. why can't we come together, republicans and democrats parents of small children -- democrats, parents of small children and older children, people who have encountered on one level or another gun violence and say, certainly we can do this, certainly we can have universal background checks, so that guns don't get in the wrong hands, so that a 16 and 17-year-old kid doesn't get a hold of a gun and then go shoot up an innocent family. so, what does wayne pierre say about that? this is pretty interesting. wayne la pierre back in 1999, after columbine, was really clear about universal background checks.
he said, on behalf of the n.r.a., we think it's reasonable to provide mandatory , mandatory instant criminal background checks for every sale, at every gun show, no loopholes anywhere for anyone. that's what he said in 1999. now, mind you, a recent poll by frank lutz, a republican pollster, of just n.r.a. members and non-n.r.a. gun members found that 74% of n.r.a. members and 83% of gun owners support a universal background check. so did wayne lapierre in 1999. what is he saying today? well, today, before senator leahy, when asked, you don't support background checks in all instances at gun shows, mr.
lapierre responds, we do not. because the fact is, the law right now is a failure the way it is working. none of it makes any sense in the real world. well, i would submit to my good friend, mr. moran, that this is the real world. and we're dealing with real people and i know that he would like to comment from your perspective on the state of gun violence and the lack of gun violence prevention in this country. and i would like to yield to you. mr. moran: i thank the very distinguished gentlelady from california. thank you for heroically sharing with us that horrific experience that you went through in your very early adulthood and that understandably continues to shape your view of gun violence
. hopefully others will hopefully others will share that view without having to go through that experience. thank you for putting a face on the tragedy at newtown and the gun violence we have experienced all too often in this country. i do think that the tragedy of 20 tiny little children being blown to bits has changed the conversation, changed the attitude of the american people. as evidenced by the 92% who understand that universal background checks are appropriate and in fact more than 3/4 of n.r.a. members believe that to be the case, despite what mr. la pierre's official position is. it would seem that perhaps he's
more interested in representing the gun manufacturers than the members of the association. but i also learned today, as many of us did, that the chair of our judiciary committee has decided that the judiciary committee is not going to be considering universal background checks out for -- out of concern for the inconvenience it may cause gun purchasers. >> will the gentleman yield? mr. moran: please. >> i wasn't aware he made that statement. in california we have background checks, and we have background checks for private sales which you have to do through a local
gun dealer. even with all that burden, you might argue, because that's what the judiciary commirm -- chairman is arguing, 600,000 guns were purchased last year in the state of california. mr. moran: i thank the gentlelady. i believe that california's laws are far more sane than the laws of many other states, particularly the laws of my own state of virginia. but the situation we have today is that over 40%, almost half, of the guns purchased in this country don't have to go through a background check. 6.6 million firearm sales occurred at gun shows and through private arrangements that didn't have to go through a background check. that's not even fair to the retail purchase sellers who have to require the background check
and comply with the law. it's almost as though you had two lines at an airport, two security lines. one where you're going to have to, you know, stand and have the machine go around and check if metal and so on and another line you can just walk through without being checked. so which line would criminals choose? ms. speier: and how is that equal protection under the law? mr. mo rar -- mr. moran: it just doesn't seem to make sense. this is a democracy. it would seem we have some responsibility, regardless of our own views, to be responsive to the overwhelming opinion of the american people. i'd like to share with my dear friend and colleague another interesting fact, and that is that auto deaths fell to 32,000
and deaths from firearms, including suicides and accidents, are over 30,000. so they're roughly the same. by 2015, the centers for disease control estimates that there will be significantly more deaths from firearms than deaths from motor vehicles. it's already occurred in virginia. we had 875 firearm deaths in the last year reported compared to 728 motor vehicle deaths. now with regard to motor vehicles, we have taken proactive action, we've acted proactively, in the form of seat belt laws, improved safety standards for the manufacturers, for the vehicles made in this country and other countries -- vehicles sold in this country. harsher penalties for drunk
driving, mandatory driver training classes, and they worked and they saved lives. why can't we do it with firearms? it seems wholly consistent with the appropriate way, the way that the american people want us to respond to a problem. and this is more than a problem. this is an extraordinary situation that demands action by this body, so i would hope that regardless of the views of the chair of the jew dish committee or even of many of the members, some of whom have an a rating from the n.r.a., that we would be responsive to the overwhelming majority of the american people and even of n.r.a. members and act responsibly. in virginia, where one of the three state -- we're one of the tree three states that the principal source for trafficking
of guns, florida and georgia are the other two, people go in and sometimes, oftentimes, with straw purchasers and buy large quantities of guns, put them in the trunk of their car, drive to the street corner in an urban area, and sell them. invariably, they wind up in criminal activity, oftentimes causing the deaths of people, many innocent people, such as you observed earlier, ms. speer. -- speier. i want to thank the congresswoman, she's a leader on this fight. it's a terribly important battle. we can't let it go. time is not on our side. time son the side of the n.r.a. that's why invariably they have prevailed previously. we can't let that happen today. we can't let that happen now. the american people deserve more and certainly the families of those very young victims at
newtown, connecticut, deserve action on our part. i thank you, i thank the gentlelady from california, you're a wonderful leader, thank you for your courage and your leadership. ms. speier: i thank the gentleman for his articulate commentary about this issue. the time has come for all of us to stop quaking in our boots because the n.r.a. leadership has spoken. you know, i've spoken to a number of my republican colleagues over the last few weeks and they are without any kind of rational reason for why they can't support one thing or another. their beliefs have become so molded by what the leadership says of the n.r.a. the n.r.a. leadership isn't
reflecting the n.r.a. membership. that's what we've got to remember. the n.r.a. membership supports universal background checks. let me share with you what wayne la pierre recently said, in a speech other the weekend, to continue to promote what i call paranoia and fear mongering. he was talking about universal background checks and he said, and i quote, it's aimed at registering your gun and when another tragic opportunity presents itself, that registry will be used to confiscate your guns. the american people know that that's not true. a tragic opportunity, that's what he calls that horrific ince definite in newtown, connecticut. opportunity?
he has lost all sense of reality. we owe it to every american to do something rational around gun violence prevention. i am not going to stand here and be cowed by n.r.a. leadership to not do what's right. and oh, yes, i have already gotten plenty of threatening facebook pronouncements. i don't care. i owe it to noah and to little isaac, i owe it to gabbie giffords and to 32 americans every day who get killed because of gun violence. let's move on and talk a little bit about an internal n.r.a.
memo. this memo lists supposed national organizations with anti-gun policies. well, it's really kind of interesting when you look at this. this is the enemy's list that the n.r.a. has developed. lots of organizations and people's names on it. we have highlighted a few here. the american association of retired persons is on their enemies list. you've got to be kidding. hallmark cards. i had to look long and hard to find out why hallmark cards would be on the enemies list for the national rifle association. and i guess 20 years ago, they contributed to an initiative to try and prevent a mandatory
conceal and carry in a state. that put them on the enemies list. the ywca. the young women's christian association. the anti-defamation league. and many other jewish organizations, i might add. the league of women voters. the organization promoting all of the smart voting that goes on in this country, all the opportunities for all of us to be able to access our legislators. and then the american federation of teachers, a national education association. these people, these organizations, can't all be wrong. but the n.r.a. has put them on their enemies list. let me give you some other names you might find kind of interesting. these are celebrities, now, not
organizations, but they include the likes of actress lauren bacall, tony bennett. tony bennett son their enemies list. is this taking us back to the mccarthy every la? -- era? sean connery son the enemies list. michael douglas. billy crystal. katie lee giffords. -- kathy lee giffords. leonard any moi. mary tyler moore. john mcenroe. barry manilow. now come on. in this country we would create a list, an organization would create a list of enemies because they support gun violence prevention? mr. speaker, i'm dumbfounded by
what goes on here from time to time. i particularly -- i am particularly dumbfounded by the inability of this congress and this house to stand up to the n.r.a. leadership and stand up for america. i'm going to close, mr. speaker, by moralizing two -- memorializing two people in california who died yesterday. two santa cruz police officers in the line of duty, doing their job, going to a home to determine whether or not their had been some domestic altercation. elizabeth butler was a 10-year veteran of the santa cruz police department. lauren baker, known as butch, was a 28-year veteran of the
santa cruz police department. it's a small town, it's a comfortable town, it's a loving town, it's an easy going town. there are only 90 officers on their police force. they have never had a shooting death of a police officer in the history of that city. but yesterday they lost two of them. by a man who had body armor on, loaded down with guns, who had been convicted in oregon of a sex offense of sorts and who had a gun and did not have a concealed permit. comes down to california, with his gun, shouldn't have had a gun, because at that point he was an ex-felon. shoots two santa cruz police officers, between them, they have five children.
let's do it for the children of this country. let's do it for law enforcement of this country. let's do it for all of us so that we can go to the mall and we can go to church and we can go to school and not be in fear of being mowed down by violence. i yield back. the speaker pro tempore: the chair recognizes the gentlewoman from california for a motion to adjourn. ms. speier: mr. speaker, i'd like to ask that we adjourn. the speaker pro tempore: the question is on the motion to adjourn. those in favor say aye. those opposed, no. the ayes have it. the motion is adopted.
so they've been trying to go back and forth and get that. it looks like now that the senate is most likely to prevail and the g.o.p. alternative didn't gain enough traction with the republican caucus. so it's looking like the senate passage is likely. >> tell us why the house rules committee structured is to that the house version, the house republican version, would come up as an amendment. >> essentially what hear doing is assess the -- it sets the stage so that's what's likely going to happen is they'll have votes on the proposals. they'll have a vote on the republican alternative but because that's expected to go down, they will then be left with a vote on the clean senate-passed bill. so it's basically, you know, giving the members a choice to line up wherever they want, on which proposal they want to see go ahead. >> joanna anderson setting the stage for the final votes
against the violence against women re-authorization. about that senate version of the bill, when that comes up, what's the likely outcome? >> that is expected to go through. and as soon as the g.o.p. alternative goes down, that would kick the measure right to president obama for his signature and he has support for the senate-passed bill. >> how long have supporters been working to get a re-authorization done on the violence against women act? >> the latest renewal lapsed in the fall of 2011 so it's been over a year now they've been working on it and the senate passed a pretty similar bill last year. they had bipartisan support for that as well. they got even a little bit more this time. and the house bill did a narrower measure but it would not act on the senate-passed bill. that kind of left things -- they had to basically restart this year because they weren't able to get it done last time. >> we're getting an update on the violence against women re-authorization debate in the
house of representatives with joanna anderson of q. -- c.q. roll call. thanks for that update. >> thank you. >> debate on the violence against women act re-authorization debate tomorrow. the house will consider changes in the bill. if that fails the house will vote on the senate bill. we'll have live coverage of the debate tomorrow morning when the house meets for legislative work at 9:00 a.m. eastern. a look at the primetime programming lineup on the c-span networks tonight. at 8:00 eastern here on c-span, newly confirmed defense secretary chuck hagel addresses employees at the pentagon. on c-span 2, president obama and congressional leaders dedicate a statue to civil right it's activist rosa parks inside the u.s. capitol. and on c-span 3, a house hearing from today looking at the impact of friday's automatic spending cuts on the federal aviation administration.
it's all tonight on the c-span networks starting at 8:00 eastern. president barack obama meets on friday with the top leaders in the house and senate to talk about the $85 billion in automatic spending cuts called the sequester that go into effect friday. also at that white house meeting, house speaker john boehner, senate democratic leader harry reid, senate republican leader mitch mcconnell and house democratic leader nancy pelosi. the sequester led the white house briefing today. education secretary arne duncan was there and warned of the impact of the upcoming automatic spending cuts to education programs. >> come on. good afternoon, ladies and gentlemen. good morning, still. thank you for being here. as you can see, we have with us
today the secretary of education, arne duncan. you saw him probably over the weekend where he discussed the impacts of sequestration if that takes place on areas he oversees in education. so i brought him here today. we've asked him here today to elaborate on that, take your questions on that. as we have in the past, with secretary lahood and napolitano, i ask that you direct your questions toward him at the top. then when we're done with that portion of the briefing, we can allow the secretary to leave and i'll remain to take your questions on other issues. we do have a fairly hard stop here because the president will be speaking on capitol hill around 11:50, i think, 11:45, 11:50. with that i give you secretary duncan. >> thank you. i'll just say a couple of things and happy to take any questions you might have. wanted to just talk, seeing as how the house spent the last couple of days, on thursday, last thursday, the vice president and traveled to connecticut to talk about the issue of gun violence, to meet
with many of the families from the sandy hook massacre, to meet with other family members who have lost their loved ones and really moving, gut wrenching, emotional day. but just extraordinary families. on friday, traveled to new york city and went to an amazing high school, you have to take a ferry to get there, to harbor school. and it's just eneek curriculum in which young people, this idea of college and careers, rather than one versus the other, marine biology, you know, restoration, just amazing work that they're doing. and the kind of school we'd like to see be a model for the country. and then on monday, talking about the increased high school graduation rates. we still have a long way to go. it's still not high enough. but to see the high school graduation rate going up, to see dropout rates going down, what's driving the increasing graduation rates is increases amongst the hispanic and the african-american population,
really encouraging trend. long way to go, not to claim success, but that's the kind of work i'd like to be talking to you guys about. those are the kind of real substantive issues that i think we as a nation should be focused on. but obviously that's not why i'm here today. i'm here to talk about sequester. and what i was trying to do is sort of walk quickly through the impact on our cradle to career agenda of sequester and then open it up for any questions. first on the early childhood side, as you know, we want to invest a lot more there. we keep saying that's the best investment we can make as a country, if we want to get our babies ready to enter kindergarten, to be successful. on the early chidehood side, a cust $400 million. what that means is as many as 70,000 children would lose access to head start slots this fall. and as many as 14,000 teachers who teach those children would lose those jobs. and that money does not come from our department. it comes from h.h.s.
but this is the time to talk about what impacts kids. on the k-12 side, as you guys know, the vast majority of our funding goes to two different situations. and we always are funding at the federal level, we're the minority investment. we're usually 8% to 10% of schools' budget. 80% to 90% is local but what we help to do is support the nation's most vulnerable children. the two biggest slots there are title 1 money, children who live below the poverty line that. total pot is $14.5 billion. and then money for students with special needs fpble, special education that. total pot is about $12 billion. what these cuts would mean on title 1 is $725 million would be cut and as many as 10,000 teachers could lose their jobs, teachers and teachers aides. and on special ed, that's $600 million and 7200 teachers would lose their jobs. and i'm happy to get into this. what if you had more choice and
discretion? those two pots together, about $25 billion, they dwarf anything else we do. so any choice i could make would be to hurt fewer poor children and help more special needs kids or do the opposite. he is it's a no-win proposition there. there's no good answer. there's nothing i could do to come up with a smarter way to do this. on the higher education side. a cut of about $86 million. the president has challenged us to try and lead the world in college graduation rates. that cut would mean for the fall as many as 70,000 students would lose access to grants and to work study opportunities. and we know, i'm sure many of you are paying tuition, college is very expensive today. something else we're working on. if young people lose access to grants and work study, my fear, don't know any numbers yet, my fear is that many of them would not be able to enroll in college, would not be able to go back. do we want a less educated work
force? do we want fewer people going to college in this country or do we want more? so real clear choices there. all of those cuts i walked through, the early childhood, the k-12, the higher ed piece, those are cuts that would be hitting in the fall. there's lots of churn now, lots of, over the next month or two you'll see lots of pink slip goes out, that's starting still really early on. it's usually march and april where that happens. but these are all things that would happen for the fall. the one set of cuts that i think is very important that you understand that hits now, that mitts march 1, are those -- it's what's called for us impact aid and this is a special funding that we do for school districts that don't have a large property tax base. again, most funding in this nation comes because of local property taxpayers. there are two populations that don't have a large property tax base. one are around military bases, obviously. and the other is native american reservations. so again these are clearly both
-- children of military families and children of the native american community who need to be done more for, not less. and the cuts to those schools and those districts come to about $60 million and those are cuts, to be very clear, that those districts have to make now before the end of the school year and obviously i was a superintendent for 7 1/2 years. all of this is really difficult. i'll get into that later. but if i was a superintendent in one of those school districts and had to make these cuts right now before the end of the school year, you know, what choice, what options, what good chances are we giving them? don't know what they do. i think the only thing they can probably do is to cut days out of the school year. i'm going to do a call with these superintendents tomorrow to get a sense for how they handle it but there's no other way to reduce your costs over the next two to three months that i'm aware of. just to give you a couple of concrete examples. coleen in texas, coleen
independent school district, home of fort hood, 2,300 federally connected children, 18,000 military dependents, they would lose about $2.6 million in impact aid fund. two more examples. gallop mckinley county public schools in new mexico, 7,500 federally connected children, including 6,700 who live on indian lands, they would lose nearly $2 million in impact aid. in impact aid for them makes up 35% of the district's total budget. again, normally we're the minority investor, 8% to 10%. in this district we're 35%. so it's not just the dollar amount, percent of that cut is huge. the final one i give you, the chinlee unified school district in arizona. the cut would be $1.2 million. impact aid funds make up about 61% of that district's total current expenditures. so while we're having this conversation, about, you know, fewer teachers, fewer school
days, less opportunities to go to head start, less ability to pay for college, other nations, this is not how they're looking to improve their education system. this is not the conversation that's happening with our competitors. in singapore, in south korea, in china, in india. as the president talked about in his state of the union we want to invest much more in education. we want a lot more children having a chance to have high quality early childhood experience. we want to make sure we can drive up graduation rates and make sure high school is relevant and drive down dropout rates and make sure our young people are college and career ready. the president's 2020 goal to lead the world in college graduation rates, to do that we need to make sure folks have access and college is affordable. so for us to be thinking about taking steps backwards in all of these areas, because folks in washington can't get their act together and a level of dysfunction in congress, it's unimaginable to me. i can't tell you how troubling that is to me and frankly how angry it makes me feel.
as a nation we're starting, you know, economy's coming back a little bit. in my world, graduation rates are up a little bit. but again we're nowhere near where we need to be. we need to be building upon that momentum, not taking a step backwards. to do something that would have such an impact for children, for families, for schools, for community, ultimately for the economy, it just makes no sense whatsoever. and i just think the american people deserve something better, our nation's children, student, deserve something better and i just desperately hope congress can find a way to find some common ground, to compromise. i don't think people ever came to washington with the idea of inflicting harm on their constituents. but that's exactly what might happen here. and i just hope -- i know we're running out of time. i'm always an optimist. i just hope they can come together and figure out a way to do the right thing. and do it with seans of urgency. i'll stop there and take any questions you might have. >> secretary duncan, the impact aid cut us that talked abouted about, are those cuts that can be reversed if the jest --
sequester is resolved? >> i think we would be able to restore that money. i should confirm that for you. but, again, they have to start making those cuts. they don't have months -- like these other cuts we're talking about are for the fall. so folks can think -- these are cuts, this money has to come out of their budget over the next -- in the next three months. so i think they will start making those cuts -- in fact, i know they'll start making those cuts as of next week. >> did the school districts suffering the impact aid losses, did they von visa to you that the only real option they have is to eliminate school days? >> i'm doing a conference call with all of them tomorrow. i can come back with further information on that. i'm just putting on my superintendent's hat and with whatever, you know, three months left in the school year, you have to take out a big part of your budget, most school districts, 80% of their budget is people. that's -- and again, as you guys all know this, it's not like we're coming at the
sequester, coming from flush times. school districts have been hit really, really hard these past couple of years. we saved about 300,000 jobs through the recovery act which we are very, very proud to do. obviously with the president's leadership and congress' support. but as a nation we've lost about 300,000 teaching jobs. we netted -- that's where we needed -- netted out. so with a couple of months to go, all you can do is i think cut salaries an cut days out. maybe they're more -- maybe there's a more creative idea. i'll have a much better sense tomorrow but i can't envision how you take out that percentage of your budget right now. >> your sense is that this is one of the cuts that could be noticed almost immediately? >> it will be noticed immediately. the others are more for the fall. this one's going to play out over the next two to three months. and let me be clear. if the other cuts are impact -- children impact schools for the fall, but every school district and superintendent, every school board, they're making their budgets now in the spring
for the fall. so the layoff notices are, you know, beginning to roll, there will be a lot more of that in march and april. class sizes, after-school programs. the amount of instability that's being injected to already very, very difficult jobs. and the thing i wanted as a superintendent, i wanted predictability. i wanted to know what my assets were and try to figure out how to do that. we're going to force these leaders, they have no choice but to start, you know, cutting people, cutting after school programs, cutting days out of the school year, they have to start to put all those plans into effect now. they're planning for the fall. it's not like they can wait until august 31 to plan for the opening school. that's not how the world works. and so it's important that you understand the magnitude of the uncertainty that congress is now putting upon educational leaders at every level. early childhood, k-12, higher ed. >> i get big picture, yew
saying the magnitude of. it it's a series of bad choices. but the republicans continue to claim on the hill that, you've heard this, that you have legal flexibility, individual secretaries. different accounts, p.p.a.'s or broader budget accounts. you can move money around. have you consulted with their lawyers on education reform, can you flatly say that's not true? >> first of all, it's not true. second of all, again, i'm -- if i had that flexibility, you guys help me, i'm not the smartest guy in the room, but $25 billion, this huge share of our money, are to two funding sources. children who live below the poverty line and children who have special needs. obviously, so, if you want me to shift, i can shift -- if i had the flexibility, i could shift one way or the other. there's no win there. there's no upside there. there's nowhere to go. obviously these kids aren't, you know, the money may go away, all these kids are coming back to school this fall. these kids aren't going -- we're not going to have less children in poverty. we're not going to have less children with special needs. so to act like there's some imaginecal thing that i could
do or a superintendent could do, kids are going to get hurt. that's just reality. >> if you could help explain for you years in chicago and here in washington, d.c., you've overseen education systems. there are a lot of young people and their families around this country that are confused by the fact that the president, as well as the congressional leaders, are not going to meet for the first time on the issue of sequester until friday, after it's already gone into effect. in your classrooms around the country, if there's a fight between sides, they meet in the middle of the classroom and come to some resolution. how do you explain to them there's no conversation taking place face to face between these two sides until after the cuts take effect? >> my sense is actually there's been lots of conversations back and forth, principals, staff for a long time. i think the president has laid out a plan and as you guys know better than i, that plan takes on some of his own interests in a pretty significant way. and congress i think is like
parents. you have to compromise. you have to find common ground. and if folks just refuse to, you know, by definition any compromise, no one's going to be perfectly happy. i negotiated union contracts. there's no perfect contract but no one's ever entirely happy but you have to come to the middle. my strong sense is there's been numerous, numerous ongoing conversations at multiple levels. but at the end of the day, if there's this one way to do it and there's not a sense that everybody's got to take on their own base a little bit to find common ground, make some tough choices, i don't see how this gets done. again, what's so infuriating to me is that this is not rocket science. there's so much, you know, we should spend our time and energy thinking about how to reduce gun violence. we're losing a lot of children, a lot of children back home in chicago due to gun violence. i want congress thinking about those issues. i want them think being how we increase graduation rates. they could get this done in the next hour. they could have got it done three months ago. intellectually this is not hard. it's just finding the courage.
it takes a little courage to go to the middle, to compromise and to have both sides take on some of their base which i think is the only way you move this forward. >> because there's only so much political capital that any administration has, do you believe if the sequester and the capital being spent is having a detrimental effect on your ability to find resolutions in terms of gun control and other issues that affect kids in your districts? >> thri there's so many bigger -- take on reducing gun violence, take on making sure our 3-year-olds and 4-year-olds are center -- entering kindergarten ready to be successful, take on a dropout rate that is going down but still wildly too high, take on that we used to lead the world in college graduation rates and today we're 11th and we wonder why jobs are going other places. all these are hard, meaty, complex substantive issues. that's why i'd like our collective brain power, political will, that's where i'd like all of us thinking about all of these pieces. for me it's not just about
education. we're fighting for our country here. we have to educate our way to a better economy. that's the only way we're going to go there. the fact that we're not spending time on those issues, in fact, i'm here talking to you about this silly stuff, and the fact that we mayually take a step backwards edcationly at every -- educationly at every level is mind boggling to me. it's inconceivable to me that this might actually happen. >> you mentioned that school districts are already issuing pink slips to teachers. can you tell us where that's happening? >> it's still early. most haven't happened yet. it really has to do with notification. so most of that stuff will start to happen in -- over the course of march and april. there are a couple of districts, one of know of in west virginia, that has issued notices. just because they have an early notification date and to be clear, the vast majority of this is going to happen april, may, sorry, march and april, some into may. and it just sort of has to do with each local district, what
their notification system is. but the numbers we think of potential layoffs is as many as -- this is early childhood and k-12, we think it's as many as 40,000 people will lose jobs. and again the only other way you don't do that, again, i think is you would reduce school days. could you go to three-day week weeks or, you know, people and time. those are your only variable factors. unfortunately everything else is gone. so still early but you'll see, unfortunately, across the country a steady drum beat of these notifications going out. which folks have a legal obligation to do. and the exception to that again would be these impact aid districts where they're going to start to do something next week. >> you're confident that teachers are already getting pink slips as you said? >> yeah. i know -- yes. some districts have an earlier notification district than most. but the vast majority of them will be rolling out over the
next two months. >> chris, then we'll let the secretary go. >> in thank district is title 1 teachers and head start teachers. these funding sources that are being cut. wlts all cut-related, i don't know. but these are teachers who are getting pink slips now. >> [inaudible] i was wondering if you could talk about how the sequester would impact those? >> again, there's a broader -- i think we need a lot more time. we need more after-school programs, we need more extra curriculars, we need more resources. it's so ironic, we're not even having that conversation today. it's all about going the opposite direction. so creating safe communities, creating limets -- climates in which children live free of fear. thinking about what we're doing in the curriculum, after school, you know, clubs, all the things we should be doing. reducing bullying or the arts or robotics or whatever it might be, we're not even having that conversation. which is again crazy to me.
but that's not the world that folks are living in right now. there's no upside. there's no upside. >> thank you very much. secretary, appreciate it. we'll get these guys out to hear the president's speech. >> thanks, guys. >> thank you. with that we've got a little time for some more questions. i'll go back to the a.p. >> thank you. the fact that the meeting with lawmakers and the president, the fact that it's happening on friday, basically a concession that the sequester is going to take effect? >> i think are you aware that the president spoke with leaders last week. i think he may have had a conversation with them up on the hill earlier just a little while ago. prior to the president's remarks at the rosa parks statue dedication. a brief one. but the fact is -- >> [inaudible] >> this is not a meeting but he's obviously up there with those leaders and it's my understanding he had a brief
conversation with them in anticipation of the meeting friday. the president didn't vite the four leaders. -- did invite the four leaders to the white house on friday where he hopes that they will have a constructive discussion about how doing something to prevent sequestration from causing the kinds of impacts that secretary duncan just described to you. the fact of the matter is i think as secretary duncan said and others have said, the compromise here in washington can usually be measured by willingness of one leader to put forward proposals that demonstrate tough choices by his side. or her side. what we have not seen from the republicans is anything like the willingness to compromise inherent in the proposals that the president has put forward. we've talked at length about the president's offer to speaker boehner and how it includes not just additional revenues through tax reform, revenues that are achieved in
the same way speaker boehner said he would achieve them, but spending cuts through entitlement reform, including so-called sue per lative c.p.i. and other measures. it -- what we haven't seen when we hear republican leaders adamantly refuse to consider revenue as part of deficit reduction is anything like that same spirit of compromise or seriousness of purpose that i think you've seen demonstrated by the president and democratic leaders. >> i want to be clear. talking about ways to prevent the sequester from happening, it's the broad effects we're talking about through secretary duncan and others -- >> talking about how we buy down -- well, obviously the senate will vote on proposals, at least one proposal, that would eliminate or rather postpone the deadline for the sequester. a balanced proposal that the president supports. a balanced proposal that a majority of the senate will
support. unfortunately a proposal that while earning the majority vote is likely to be blocked by republican leaders who will thereby be making the choice that we should let the sequester go into effect rather than ask that some special interest tax breaks be eliminated. that we should have these kids who are affected by the program secretary duncan discussed, the ones that military family kids and children on native american reservations, that they will be suffering because of this decision that republicans will make. a minority in the senate, a decision they will make, to block a majority supported resolution that would avert the sequester in a balanced way. hopefully that won't come to pass but it's certainly based on what we've seen from republican leaders thus far, that is a more likely outcome. but as i said yesterday, we
remain hopeful that at some point, hopefully soon, republicans will understand the need to compromise here. and that compromise has balance at its essence. that's what the american people want, that's what republicans, a majority of republicans in the country, say they want. so the president looks forward to a conversation when he has this meeting that is constructive and that includes suggestions by leaders about how we can move forward towards the kind of balanced deficit reduction that this is all about. . when the sequester mr. pascrell:ed into law, the idea -- when the sequester was passed into law, the idea was that the congress come up in
additional deficit reduction, not spending cuts alone but deficit reduction. and the president has been talking about the need for balance in our deficit reduction. that has been his approach all along and has been an approach that he discussed about in the campaign. it is an approach that the american people support and best economic approach for all the reasons that i think you heard secretary duncan speak about. >> i was curious, earlier this week in advance of these cuts, i.c.e. announced it released a number of detainees across the country to get ready foresee questions tration. was the white house aware of this release and confident that none one of these detainees is not a threat to his or her community.
>> this was made without any input from the white house as well as possible sequestration. i.c.e. made clear, the agency released low-risk criminal detainees to ensure detention levels stayed within the budget. they are in removal proceedings. priority on detention remains on others who pose a significant threat to public safety. this step affected a few00 detainees out of the 30,000 in i.i.c.e. detention. it is worth noting what secretary napolitano said the other day, we have made enormous progress. we have doubled the presence of border agents along the southwest border and many including republicans have noted the progress that has been made. much as secretary duncan discussed here, instead of taking a step backward in our efforts to improve education in
america, since we have made progress in those efforts, we should be talking about moving forward. and when it comes to border security, secretary napolitano made clear we should be building on the progress we have made. but unfortunately, we are talking about sequestration. >> -- necessary about -- >> she talks about the direct impact that the budget conflits that we have here with congress and sequestration as well as the upcoming continuing resolution expiration that they have on her budget and other budgets and the decisions that have to be made because of that. i refer you for details on these specific decisions to i.c.e. because this was made by career first at i.c.e. without any input from the white house. >> let me just ask you as you mentioned, it says in their statement that many of these detainees are in the process of removal proceedings. how are you supposed to bring
them back in if they have been released? >> you are misunderstanding what i.c.e. has said. they continue in the program under a less expensive form of monitoring to make sure that the actual detentions stay within i.c.e.'s overall budget but remain in the process for deportation. >> possible some of them may not be brought back in. >> i ask you to refer to i.c.e. >> are you expecting any movement at this friday meeting? >> we hope that the republican leaders will begin to respond to the will of the american people and respond to some of the concerns expressed by some members of congress in the republican party about the fawley that allowing sequestration would represent. whether it's in norfolk, virginia or newport news, virginia or in some of the districts that secretary dunk and discussed or on the
southwest border, the impacts of sequester will be severe. that was, after all, the purpose of designing this piece of legislation, because the sheer nature of sequester, the fact it was so onerous was to compel congress to come together and compromise. >> you aren't sensing any movement? >> we are hoping that republicans will understand the need to come together and support balance. again, the choice republicans will be making if they don't agree to that is the choice between up to 750,000 people losing their jobs on the one hand and asking that some special interests tax loopholes be closed on the other. i don't think that's a choice that seems like a hard one to most americans. unfortunately, it seems like a difficult one for republicans. >> secondly, is the united
states preparing to offer direct military assistance to the syrian rebels or any sort of assistance at all? >> i can tell you we are reviewing the nature of the assistance we provide to both the syrian people in the form of humanitarian assistance and nonlethal assistance, which as you know we have provided. president obama is committed to helping accelerate a political transition in syria to a democratic post-assad government that protects the rights of all citizens and we are helping the opposition becoming more stronger and more organized. we will annual idse every feasible option to oppose assad. we will be participating in the meeting in rome tomorrow and discuss with the syrian opposition coalition leaders how the united states and impart nears can do more to help the
syrian transition do more. vice president expressed that when they spoke earlier this week. we will continue to provide assistance to the syrian people, to the sirion opposition and continue to increase our assistance in the effort to bring about a post-assad syria and a better path forward for the syrian people. >> [inaudible question] >> when did the president reach out to the congressional leaders to request this meeting? >> the day before or yesterday. >> given that mcconnell's statement says he is looking forward to the meeting and saying americans will not look to another tax increase, let me ask you, is there any chance of an agreement with the republicans if they stick to this insistence of absolutely no tax increases?
>> there is no alternative in the president's mind to balance, because what you are asking and what senator mcconnell is saying is that senior citizens, middle-class americans, parents trying to send their kids to college, parents trying to care for disabled children should bear all the burden of continued deficit reduction while the wealthiest individuals and large corporations who enjoy tax breaks that nobody else gets are held harmless. that is an unacceptable choice and where senator mcconnell has it wrong, i think, his analysis of what the american people want, because poll after poll after poll make clear that a vast majority of the american people believe that we need to go about in this in a balanced way and everybody ought to pay their fair share and carry the burden so no one is unduly
burdenened by the effort which should be an effort we engage in in a responsible way that grows the economy and create jobs. the data on this is overwhelming. perhaps senator mcconnell might want to check it out. >> unless the republicans compromise on taxes, there is no undoing these cuts? >> it is absolutely clear that we cannot compromise with republicans if republicans refuse to compromise. there is no question. we remain hopeful, however, not because the president says it should be this way or the democratic leaders say it should be this way, but because the american people are insisting. republicans come around to the notion that further deficit reduction can and should be achieved in a balanced way. we have done it thus far. it hasn't been pretty and often been harrowing unnecessarily so. but the fact of the matter is
the president signed into law $2.5 trillion reductions. we have the lowest level of discretionary spending, non-defense discretionary spending since eisenhower was president. president obama has put forward and offered to speaker boehner additional deficit reduction that would bring us beyond the goal of $4 trillion that includes further balance but also has that balance significantly tilted in favor of spending cuts. there are tough choices for democrats on the issue of entitlement savings. that's the kind of compromise, not the my way or the highway, no way am i changing my position. that's not the approach that people expect. last question, major. >> can you explain to the american public a bizarre scheduling sequence. the meeting occurs after the sequester begins.
>> it happens after midnight -- actually it happens before. no. it begins midnight march 1 and the meeting happens before. >> on thursday? >> it happens on midnight at friday. >> very close and not before. >> and there have been discussions with -- >> you are asking republicans to come here and surrender? >> we are asking republicans to compromise in the same way that president has compromised. a willingness to go with spending cuts or entitlement reforms that they don't necessarily prefer. i think the answer you would have to that is yes and we all recognize that. that's what the president has put forward. he has put forward budget deficit reduction proposals, significantly deficit reduction
through spending cuts. but he insists on balance. first of all, the president will be meeting with them on friday and spoke with them last week and spoke with them on capitol hill. the senate is still yet to vote and hopefully tomorrow that will achieve the postponement of the sequester deadline to allow congress to move forward in a sensible, no-drama fashion that would avoid these unnecessary impacts across the economy and the country and hopefully, you know, republicans will change their minds about filibustering that and allow a majority of the senate to pass a bill that would achieve that delay in a balanced way. move it to the house and perhaps, again, hope springs eternal, the speaker would allow that to come to a vote. there is a very good chance that there is a majority in the house of representatives that would
support a simple proposition, which is we can postponethe deadline for the sequester in a balanced way, just as congress did in bipartisan fashion just two months ago. why not do that and let congress go about the business of working on further deficit reduction. we certainly hope they do. >> how long was the meeting today? >> it was a brief meeting. they talked before the event. before the meeting, they were all together and as you would expect, they had a short discussion. [captions copyright national cable satellite corp. 2013] [captioning performed by national captioning institute] >> education secretary duncan spoke with reporters at the top
of today's briefing at the white house about the impact of the automatic spending cuts on the education department the sequester set to go into effect on friday. president obama has scheduled a meeting with congressional leaders at the white house on friday. speaker boehner and democratic leader nancy pelosi and the senate leaders, harry reid and mitch mcconnell friday at the white house. the president will be speaking at the business council dinner in the nation capital and expect to hear remarks about the sequester and live coverage coming up in 15 minutes at 7:30 eastern. the president was on capitol hill joining congressional leaders and others for a ceremony dedicating a statue of rosa parks. here's a look. >> out of selfishness or out of fear or simple lack of moral imagination, we so often spend
our lives as if in a fault, accepting injustice, rationalizing inequity, tolerating the intolerable, like the bus driver, but also like the passengers on the bus. we see the way things are, children hungry in a land of plenty, entire neighborhoods ravaged by violence, families hobbled by job loss or illness and we make excuses for inaction. and we say to ourselves, that's not my responsibility. there's nothing i can do. rosa parks tells us, there's always something we can do.
she tells us that we all have responsibilities to ourselves and to one another. she reminds us that this is how change happens. not mainly through the exploits of the famous and the powerful, but through the countless acts of often anonymous courage and kindness and fellow feeling and responsibility that continually, stubbornly expand our conception of justice, our conception of what is possible. >> you can see all of that ceremony, the dedication ceremony for the rosa parks statue on c-span2 at 8:05. while president obama's choice
for defense secretary, chuck hagel, reported for duty today sworn in at the pentagon with family and other employees at the pentagon. he also spoke to a broader audience of pentagon employees and we'll show that to you in just a bit on our program schedule. he was approved yesterday by a vote of 58-41, smallest margin for defense secretary since the position was created in 1947. >> at one point, steinbeck had to write a small paragraph that said people are asking -- this is after his wife joins him in seattle. when he says we, it's elaine and john and not charlie and john. and somebody must have said, where's charlie? he disappeared. steinbeck wrote a page and a half saying people have asked what happened to charlie.
when my lady friend joined me in seattle, he took his position -- he's fine, and that didn't appear in the book because what they did is editors went in and took out him from the west coast. almost 30 days of elaine's presence with john on the west coast. they weren't camping out or studying america but on a vacation. >> he contends that steinbeck took so many liberties that it can't be classified as nonfiction sunday at 8:00 on c-span's q ann a. >> the problem with banning any book is that once you ban one, we don't know where it will stop. and that road takes us back to
totalitarian states. books have been banned many times, especially in classrooms i think simply because the -- sometimes a parent doesn't understand the novel. they haven't read it. there have been cases where school boards or parents have asked to ban a novel and it turns out they just haven't read it. they take words or phrase here and there, a paragraph, but i'm glad to say in every instance where censorship of a novel has happened, every instance that i know of, the community, parents, families, have gone to the schools and said look, this is our literature, this is
important literature and you can't ban because you pick a word or two or paragraph and every case that i know of, the banning has been overturned. >> more or censorship and banned books on history tv look behind the scenes of the history and lit area life in albuquerque, new mexico, saturday at noon eastern on c-span2. >> here on c-span in 10 minutes, we are planning to take you live to the business council dinner happening in washington. president obama speaking there and we expect to hear remarks about the effects of the sequester, those automatic spending cuts set to happen on friday. we'll take you there live. again it's scheduled for 7:30 eastern. up until then, a republican point of view on the sequester
from this morning's "washington journal." host: phil roe represents the 1st district of tennessee. talking about sequestration, these cuts that are supposed to take effect. do you support it going forward? guest: let's review the history of sequestration. what happened was if you look at the budget deficit that we have had -- and i have brought something that helps me a lot, if you look at the path that we have right there, it shows you mandatory spending that we have is 60% of the budget and discretionary spending. what is discretionary spending? department of defense, education, commerce, energy, homeland security, f.b.i., national parks and so forth. our budget deficit is so large that if you cut all discretionary spending, we have a budget deficit and would have for the past four, five years.
as we bumped up in august 2011, we have the vote to increase our credit card limit basically and to do that, we had a bill called the budget control act and there were six democrats and republicans who got together in a room to avoid these so-called sequester cuts. let me put it in english. it's automatic cuts that occur. and as we came to 18 months and i have been saying these are real cuts. everyone says you are not cutting anything. i say these are real cuts both to the military and discretionary spending. the point i'm making is, you cannot balance the budget by cutting discretionary spending. so this friday, we have across-the-board cuts that are scheduled to go in. now the house twice last year passed two different bills that would avoid the sequester and the cuts would come from some of the places. the senate has not acted.
we are waiting for the senate to do something. what's the effect of it? let me give you an example that i can understand. if i'm a family of four and have a $60,000 a year income but spending $100,000 which is what the government is doing, 40 cents on the dollar, my credit counselor says we need you to cut 2.5% and spend $79,000 500. all cuts are not the same. some of these cuts that are going to occur to both the military and discretionary, i disagree with. we -- and i think we are -- cuts are going to happen on friday, no question in my mind about that. between friday and the 27th of march when the continuing resolution which is the document that we run our budget on comes up, that will be about a month to work on some compromise i think. host: you would look to see some
way out of it. in terms of the actual implementation of the cuts, you don't want to see it happen. >> the cuts i want to see happen, but not this way. host: the white house has put out a list of what these cuts mean in their perspective in their communities. tennessee, your home state, we're looking teachers and schools in tennessee losing about $15 million in funding for primary and secondary education, putting 200 teacher and aid jobs at risk. fewer students served and fewer schools and work study jobs, head start, cuts to those programs in your home state. you are on the education and work force committee. what about these cuts? >> in tennessee we have 6 ,000 teachers and we don't want to see any teachers toe get cut.
but i am a product of public school system. i started school in a two-room school with six grades in one room. we didn't have indoor plumbing and i overdosed education. i'm a physician. and all of my children have gone through the public education system. i have a tremendous, tremendous amount of respect for the teachers that taught me. my two first grade teachers who i remember and cherish dearly, and we need a system that works for all. host: do cuts weaken the public education system? >> yes. host: you don't want to see them happen? here's what else could happen, $12 million for special education could be on the chopping block and job search assistance, $680,000 and furlough of 7,000 civilians in
the state of tennessee. >> the cuts are real and they are going to happen and need to happen. the government is too big. it spends too much money but as we stated, all cuts are not exactly the same. you would like to see your education funded properly and i hope we get a chance to talk to some of our callers. we have done great things in tennessee and i hope we can talk about that. host: marry in virginia on our independent line. caller: i just want to say a couple of things. first and foremost if harry reid , democrats and some republicans feel so strongly about the job cuts and things like that and getting -- making sure that teachers have the money they need to work and get the raises that they want to give them and
see that the people get paid more, then why in the world would they agree to allow the government to spend, because they already said they had money to do this, why would they allow the government to spend money -- excuse me, 11 million to 20 million that are here. guest: i have a lot of fond memories of where you live. you live in a beautiful part of the state of virginia. i hear this all the time in tennessee. i'm your next door neighbor. i can step across the state line and one foot is in virginia and one foot in tennessee. i hear what you are saying, there are money being spent on people who are here illegally and having problems funding our
own education system. i was a mayor and practiced medicine full-time. and we highly value education. there are several funding streams for most school systems. in tennessee, we have 13. our school system is funded by county dollars, state dollars and local dollars. local taxpayers put in. and some federal dollars, although the federal dollars are a lot less than you think. for instance, when you look at the entire state of tennessee and these cuts that are going to happen, one department, $15 million, just our city budget is over 60 million in a town of 60,000 people. it's not a big cut, but i agree that any cuts are hurtful to our education system. host: congressman, here's a recent story from "the times news" and quotes you as saying maybe we need to do this.
maybe they need to go through. the story says while congressman r omp e says no one will gain, the house g.o.p. has to take a stand. guest: we have to look at this. you cannot spend trillion dollars that's a thousand billion more. no family or business can do that. and the consequences are very dire for this country. there will be a debt crisis. people will not lend us this money. i find it amusing in a $6.3 trillion budget we can't find 2.5% to cut. you have to look at the entire budget not just pieces of it. host: if you could have your druggetters, you would see cuts go through but not the cuts. one or the other if you have to
cast votes, what are you going to do? guest: if i have no choice, i will cut the spending. both sides will come together in the next month and the thing that is frustrating. the president should be here in washington, d.c., working with the congress leading not cheerleading out in the country about all the awful things that might happen. nothing awful is going to happen on friday. host: congressman basera claimed that the house republican leadership have done what they need to do up here and the democratic's response. >> there is no bill that the house of representatives has passed. that will stop these mindless cuts to people's services from taking effect. speaker boehner may be talking about legislation, that was very
partisan that the house of representatives under republican leadership passed last year. but i don't think i need to give the speaker a lesson in legislating or how government runs, but whatever was done last year that didn't get signed into law has evaporated. it is gone. it does not exist. this is a new year, a new session of congress. and it's time for everyone to get to work. the house republican leadership must get to work in giving people a balanced bipartisan plan.
>> that's the way it is supposed to work and hasn't worked like that because senator reid has chosen not to let it work like that. host: let's go to the phone lines, democrats' line. >> he is representing tennessee, all this crying each and every day, we have a murder and violence here in tennessee. and and talking about sequestration and doing budget cuts. we need the police and people
here to help. when our people from tennessee, republicans always say cut, cut, cut, but why don't you raise those taxes on the rich people and stop spending our money overseas. why do you give to other countries? guest: i have been in memphis for 10 years and i'm familiar with shelby county and enjoyed my time in medical school at the city of memphis hospitals. couple of points. i agree with you, one is, there are was tremendous number of people -- we spent 40 something billion dollars on foreign aid and i have heard it over and over again from all, saying why are we sending money to people who don't like this. i have been to afghanistan twice and once i served -- 40 years ago this month i went into the
u.s. army and served 13 months in korea. it divided my training in memphis. two years in the military and come back and finish my education there. but we spend $1 million per soldier per year to keep a soldier in afghanistan and i support the president in leaving afghanistan. but that will save a lot of money. your fire and police, i was a mayor. your fire and police are paid for by local dollars and we don't have a state income tax in tennessee, just sales taxes. and that's how we found our local police and fire. host: robert, independent line. caller: good morning. mr. roe, in the first section of the constitution, i think is article 7 or 8 there, it states that the house of representatives will solely, just them, have the obligation
to raise taxes when the revenue is needed. and it doesn't say anything about cuts but just raising. you all have an obligation to the citizens of the united states, all of them, not just the wealthy ones and to raise taxes on the people that have the money and can afford to pay it and the rest of the country, the majority that don't looks to me that that would be a no-brainer. that's the way things go up there in the house of representatives. i think it is going to take civil unress for the poor people in this country get a fair shake. so that's my comments this morning. guest: i appreciate your comments. but here are the facts. the top 1% of income tax earners in america, 1%, pay almost 40% of all federal taxes.
that's 40%. the top 5% of income tax earners in america, pay 60% of all taxes and top 10 pay 80%. so 10% of americans pay 80% of all federal income taxes. if you look, they are paying their fair share. and what we need is tax overhaul. i got through call can you louis and/or beganic chemistry in college. i wouldn't attempt to do my taxes because they are so complicated and we need tax reform. today, today, we have the highest net corporate tax rates in the world in america. that makes us less competitive in the world. so we desperately need to redo our taxes. not raise rates, but to have tax reform where it makes more sense. i gee with you on that, but wealthy people are paying their fair share. host: phil roe is a physician
and ran a medical practice for over three decades and served in the u.s. army medical corps. the "wall street journal" has a poll along with nbc news looking at how americans feel about the president's handling of sequestration and how the republicans in congress are handling it. 29% approval rating for republicans in congress and 45% agree with president obama. are you doing something wrong? guest: we are going to spend a few minutes here on c-span but the president speaks to the entire nation and he has the bully pulpit and the microphone. but i think the facts are on our side. as we explained those and i think people understand inherently that they as a family, you and i can't spend 40 cents more dollars out of each dollar that we have -- we have to borrow that much to stay afloat that.
we can't do that. and every income strata understands that. >> staten island new york, republican new york. caller: i have a quick question and a comment. representative, i saw the chart that you did on the screen that shows social security is entitlement. whenever we put money aside for that purpose -- it is not an entitlement. it's a trust and put our money aside. i don't see why it is an entitlement.
[captions copyright national cable satellite corp. 2013] [captioning performed by national captioning institute] >> live now to the business council dinner here in washington with president obama. >> thank you very much. please. i didn't think they were going to do the music. [laughter] >> andrew, thanks for your introduction and leadership. i want to say hello to everybody, many of you i have known for a very long time and some of you i have met more recently, but let me say at the top what i always like to emphasize when i get a chance to speak to our business leaders and that is i'm very much rooting for your success, because what is absolutely true is that when your companies are thriving, when your bottom line is where it needs to be, then the possibilities of jobs and
growth and people realizing their dreams are greatly enhanced. the good news is after four years of difficult times, we have seen a steady recovery, if not as robust as we would like. and you know, we have seen over six million jobs created over the last 35 months. housing is finally beginning to recover. there is reason for optimism as we move forward. i think what everybody is aware of here, though, we have a long way to go. unemployment is still too high. middle-class families are still feeling enormous stresses and strains and what i think everybody is concerned about is the enormous uncertainty in terms of the political framework, the tax framework, the debt framework within which all of you are going to be operating over the next several years.
>> right now the biggest manifestation is the sequester kicking in at the end of this week. i should point out and i'm sure you have heard from a number of experts and economists that this is not a cliff but it is a tumble downward. it's conceivable that in the first week, first two weeks, first three weeks, first month that unless your business is directly related to the defense department, unless you live in a town that is directly impacted by a military installation, unless you are a family that now is trying to figure out where to keep your kids during the day, because you just lost a head start slot, a lot of people may not notice the full impact of the sequester.
but this is going to be a big hit on the economy. and both private sector as well as public sector economists are estimating we could lose as much as six-tenths of a point or more of economic growth. and that means inevitably, hundreds of thousands of people who are not going to get jobs that otherwise would get them. it means that you have fewer customers with money in their pockets ready to buy your business -- your goods and services. it means that the global economy will be weaker because although we obviously still have a long way to go in recovery, we are actually doing significantly better than some of the other developed nations. and the worst part of it is, it's entirely unnecessary. it's not what we should be doing. i have said this before. i will say it again.
and i suspect i will be repeating it during the question and answer session, but if you look right now at what our economy needs, taking $85 billion out of it over the next six months indiscriminately, ash temporarily, without a stratly behind it that's not a smart thing to do to make sure that america grows and our middle class is thriving and there are ladders of opportunity this the middle class. what we should be doing and i have been calling for repeatedly over the last several months and years, is a balanced approach to deficit reduction that combines some tough spending cuts, particularly focused on how do we deal with long-term trends on some of our entitlement programs and a tax reform agenda that
without raising tax rates further, could, in fact, raise sufficient receive news that combined would yield $1.5 trillion in deficit reduction over the next decade and would replace the sequester and would bring our deficit to g.d.p. ratios below the 3% threshold we need for stabilization, that would stabilize our debt to g.d.p. ratios for the next decade and would lay the grouped work for more expansive growth because we would have simplified our tax system, closed some tax loopholes and broadened our base, seeing an opportunity for corporate tax reform that could also make the whole system more sensible and give you guys a more competitive posture internationally. that's what we should be doing. now you will be happy to know that that's what i offered to my
republican friends back in december after my election, before the fiscal cliff. many of you were involved invoicing support for such a balanced approach, even if you deposit sign on to every detail and every line item in our recommended budget. and what i have said is that cons to be the offer on the table. i continue to make tough decisions, some of which will garner some significant frustration on the part of members of my party, but i think it's the right thing to do. what i can't do is to abide by a set of decisions here in washington that would put the entire burden of deficit reduction on our seniors, making their health care more expensive, students that would make their student loans and going to college more expensive, that would gut our investments in education and research and infrastructure, all the foundations for long-term
growth. that's not what we are going to do, because it wouldn't be good for the country and frankly wouldn't be good for your businesses. now the question then becomes how do we get from here to there. and i was telling andrew before we came up, the issue is not technical. the issue is political. and the question is whether or not we are going to see a willingness on the part of all parties to compromise in a meaningful way. and what that means is democrats have to accept the need for entitlement reform. but it also means that republicans have to accept the need for additional revenues if we are going to be able to actually close this deficit and provide the kind of certainty that you need to make your long-term investments. whether that can be done in the next two days, i haven't seen things done in two days here in
washington in quite some time. on the other hand, the good news is i think the public is beginning to pay attention to this. and one thing i'm certain about is the country as a whole is wary of washington presiding over a manufactured crisis every three months. it's not good for business confidence and certainly not good for consumer confidence. it's unnecessary. and my strong hope and the case i'm taking to the american people is that we can once and for all resolve this in a way that is equitable, in a way that is focused on growth and in a way that provides opportunity for everybody in this country who is willing to work hard regardless of what they look like or where they come from or region of the country they live in. and it's right there. it's there for the taking.
and what i strongly believe is if the business community speaks out for such a sensible, balanced responsible approach, then eventually it will get done. i think it was winston churchill who once said americans always do the right thing after they have exhausted every other possibility. and we are getting to the point where we have now exhausted every other possibility. and i have confidence that what's been true for our country in the past will be true for this country in the future. with that, let me open it up and take some questions. we are going to move the press out of the way. [captions copyright national cable satellite corp. 2013] [captioning performed by national captioning institute] >> president obama talking to business leaders here at the business council dinner. this is pool coverage from the
television networks invited here just for comments, not for q and a. on friday, the president will be meeting with the leaders of the house and senate to talk about the sequester. those $85 billion in automatic spending cuts set to go into effect on friday. house speaker boehner and minority leader nancy pelosi and senator reid and senator mitch mcconnell. president obama was unveiling the statue of rosa parks and the president commented on her role. >> whether out of selfishness or out of fear or simple lack of moral imagination, we so often spend our lives as if in a fault, accepting injustice,
rationalizing inequity, tolerating the intolerable. like the bus driver, but also like the passengers on the bus. we see the way thingsr children hungry in the land of plenty, entire neighborhoods ravaged by violence, families hobbled by job loss or illness, and we make excuses for inaction. and we say to ourselves, it's not my responsibility. there's nothing i can do. rosa parks tells you there is always something we can do. she tells us that we all have responsibilities to ourselves
and to one another. she reminds us that this is how change happens. not mainly through the exploits of the famous and the powerful, but through the countless acts of often anonymous courage and kindness and fellow feeling and responsibility that continually, stubbornly expand our conception of justice, our conception of what is possible. >> just a quick note on that rosa parks program it is in our library. coming up on c-span2 in 15 minutes. at the white house today, new york mayor michael bloomberg met with vice president joe biden to talk about reducing gun violence. after that meeting, he spoke to
reporters and commented on the budget sequester. >> a lot of things people wait until the last minute. that's when they focus. that's when they are easier politically to do it, whether that's what you see or not, i'm not sure. but i guess i have always thought they will find some ways to mitigate or postponesee questionsering. it was an idea that came out of 1600 pennsylvania avenue and the senate and the house, both sides of the aisle. this was something that all of these elected officials thought was a good idea and i find it fascinating that they are trying to blame each other for it. they all voted for it. what are you crazy? they have to live with it, but sequestering is not a great way deciding what to cut. i thought that the original
erskin-bowles was much more rational and which if you read the bill and if you had really read it, it has tax increases that the public would not like. it had real cuts that would have been in the paper. we have tried to villify sequestering and do the same thing. the bottom line is we have to find ways to do more with lessor in any case, spend less and spending less unless you can find a way generally means that you can't do everything you want and there's just not people that say, well, there is corruption and waste. it is so trivial, it probably cost you more to find and not that we shouldn't go after it, but let's get serious. the entitlements are going to bankrupt us, just like the pension system and health care is going to bankrupt corporations. take the last question.
>> are you worried about the impact in new york if this goes into effect? >> in all fairness on monday, we will be able to police the streets. so there will be a fire engine that responds, ambulance. our teachers will be in front of the classroom. if there is snow, we will be able to plow. it is something that takes a while to implement. and when you make contracts, long-term contracts when you have employees, you just can't overnight reassign them or eliminate them. there are a lot of things that take a long time. and new york city does not get an enormous amount of money. i think probably $10 billion or $12 billion and a lot of it is protected. there is a lot of posturing, i'm going to lay off my employees unless you do something. i'm going to close the hospitals down and take all the prisoners from jail and put them on the street. spare me. i live in that world.
let's get serious. it's not good for the country. we need to have white house, republicans and democrats come together and intelligently find a way to reduce the deficit, but not with a meat axe. it has to be carefully thought out and that's the advantage incidentally of simpson-bowles because they did think it out whereas sequestering is meat axe and he'll get one or screw him, that's not a way to make decisions. you have to do it much more carefully. we are dealing with the future of this country. guns, immigration, we are committing national suicide because companies are moving jobs overseas, not because it's cheaper, no longer cheaper in most places in terms of labor. it's because the kids overseas
have better education. the universities overseas are catching up at an alarming rate. immigration is something we just have to have temporary seasonal workers to pick the crops. we need engineers and entrepreneurs to start companies -- i was talking to the governor of michigan last night. and -- about detroit and whether he could raise some money to help detroit school systems. and you know, i -- i never met him before, but he understands that we are going to -- unless we do something here, to give our kids a better education, to make the streets safer, to give people a reason to come, which is cultural institutions and that sort of stuff, parks and all sorts of amenities, we aren't going to have a future. let me finish up by saying, i walk away pleased, optimistic. i'm not under any delution that
this is a slam -- delusion that this is a slam dunk or already in the bag, if you will. the time is coming and if not now, it will be later. the difference is, there are going to be a awful lot more people murdered between now and later. and when you think about it in that context, there really isn't any time to waste. [captions copyright national cable satellite corp. 2013] [captioning performed by national captioning institute] >> in remarks to pentagon employees, newly sworn in defense secretary chuck hagel talked about the sequester and its effect on the military. the nomination was approved by the senate on tuesday in a narrow vote with 41 republicans voting against him. he succeeds leon panetta as the 24th defense secretary. >> a couple of hours ago, i took the oath of office to become the 24th secretary of defense. it's a great honor.
it's a privilege. yes, for me, my family, but to be part of your team who you are is the honor. that's the great privilege. you're not joining my team. i'm joining your team. and i want you to know how proud i am of the opportunity the president of the united states has given me and the congress of the united states has given me. and i would tell you that as i told the president, as i told the congress, that i will do everything in my power to be the kind of leader that you expect and you deserve. also, the kind of leader the country expects and deserves. we are living a very defining time in the world. you all know that. it's a difficult time. it's a time of tremendous
challenge, but there are opportunities. and i think it's important that we all stay focused obviously on our jobs, on our responsibilities, which are immense. but not lose sight of the possibilities for a better world. if there's one thing america has stood for more than any one thing, is that we are a force for good. we make mistakes. we've made mistakes and will continue to make mistakes, but we are a force for good. and we should never ever forget that. and we should always keep that out in front as much as any one thing that drives us every day, as difficult as our jobs are. budget, sequestration, i don't need to dwell on all the good news there. [laughter] >> that's a reality. we need to figure this out. you are doing that. you have been doing that. we need to deal with this reality.